The Israelites needed only Jesus’ death to prove he was not the Messiah. They had accepted the Liar’s notions of power and victory. They had believed his story that the Messiah would be a conquering hero. Jesus’ crucifixion was all the proof they needed to label him a lunatic – or a liar.

As closely as the Twelve had walked with Jesus, they also took his death as his defeat. They had never quite understood what Jesus meant when he said: “The last shall be first.” Or for that matter: “On the third day….”

The Evil One celebrated a victory for death. The religious leaders congratulated themselves on their shrewd strategy. The disciples scattered in discouragement. But in the dank, musty tomb, God Almighty was performing the greatest miracle since creation.

For two days, Jesus lay cold and lifeless on a stone slab. But early on the third day, God bent down and breathed life back into his battered body. In the most incredible moment since the dawn of time, the crucified Son of God stepped out of his tomb and watched the rising sun scatter the last shroud of foggy darkness.

What power can turn death into life? Only that power which brought creation into being at a single word. Only that which could make lepers whole and cause the blind to see. Only that which fed thousands of people with a few scraps of bread and two small fish.

Jesus did none of those things on his own. It was the infinite power of God released in his life that left the multitudes in awe. It was this same power from God that enabled him to resist the Tempter and remain faithful to his Father. It was this power that enabled him to face the cross and endure its agonies.

This same unsearchable power that pulled Jesus from the grave would utterly transform those who gave their lives to him. This power alone can free a soul from its slavery to death. This power alone can create a new heart, capable of walking in peace with God. This power alone can vanquish darkness and banish the Evil One from his throne on earth. This power alone can restore the harmony between God and his creation.

This power is not lost in history. When Jesus returned to his Father, the power moved into the hearts of his disciples. It transformed them from a scattering of downhearted victims to the most powerful band of revolutionaries the world has ever seen.

By this power, God is able to accomplish infinitely more than any human can conceive in the wildest imaginings. This power lives in the hearts of all those who belong to Jesus. And it throbs with potential.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. In fact, he will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14.12).

Read it for yourself!
Luke 24.1-53; John 5.16-19; Ephesians 3.20

Think about it!
What Christian have you known whose life revealed God’s power in a remarkable way?

How does God’s power work in your life?

What would let God’s power work more freely in your life?

Next installment
10 – Our mission

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